The age-old problem, for drivers with disabilities, of having to find assistance to get Full Service at a Self-Serve gas stations has finally been solved.
The Canadian Coalition for Mobility Challenged Drivers, was looking for a solution to this major problem since 2014. Many avenues were traveled on to eliminate this problem. During our search to find a way to ‘fill er up’, we came across a number of different proposals.
We found systems that solved one problem, but created another. Everything from honking your horn, but not getting the attention of the service station attendant. Or, Having telephone number to call to get assistance, which, either the number was hard to read or the number did not work. And the ‘push a button’, which is supposed to ring inside the office/store, but it either did not work or no one would hear it.
In 2016, one of our members was vacationing in the UK and saw an advertisement for a smart phone app that would help drivers with disabilities. It not only gets you a ‘fil-up’, at SHELL stations, but also you will be able to purchase items from the mini-mart at the station, all from the convenience of your vehicle. Contact was made with the developer of the app and with the help of SHELL UK it was brought back to Canada, via SHELL Canada.
The CCMCD.cs was officially launched in 2017. It was formed to educate and promote the ‘fuelService’ app. The app is available in your APP Store. As os September 2020, the app is available from Coast to Coast in Canada.
After you install the app, the system works very easily. When you need gas, just tap on the “find stations” button. With GPS it will list all the stations, near where you are, that will fill your tank. Tap the station location (also a map to the station is available to tap on) that you want and within 30sec, or less, you will get a response that ‘if you arrive in the next 30 minutes’, that a staff member will assist you. This guarantees that some will be at the station to assist you. If, on the rare occasion the station cannot assist, just go to the next nearest station on the list.
When you arrive at the station go to any available pump, tap the button that says, “I have arrived”. They will text you back asking, ‘what pump # are you at?” you press (for example the number ‘6’, they respond that they are on their way. The attendant will come to you and ask how much gas do you wish to purchase, and will proceed to fill your tank, then ask if you need any items from the store, you give them your credit card. The attendant will bring you the items, your credit card and your receipt and you NEVER have to get out of your vehicle. Also, another benefit of this system, is for parents that have children with a disability MS, Visual or Autistic, etc., now they do not have to leave them alone in the vehicle.
If you don’t have a smart phone there is a list at http://www.fuelservice.org/ca that will show locations and phone numbers to the stations that you can call to make arrangements.
We hope that the information we have given will help eliminate one the major problems that drivers with disabilities face, when you need to fill your tank. Any questions, please contact me at: [email protected]
Edward “Eddie” Rice
Canadian Coalition for Mobility Challenged Drivers
90 Eglinton Ave East Suite 601
Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3